The United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York announced the forfeiture of approximately 29,655 Bitcoins in connection with the seizure of the Silk Road website. The Silk Road operated as a marketplace for illicit goods and services before it was shutdown in October 2013. At the time the U.S. Attorney’s Office seized the Silk Road website and its servers, a large number of Bitcoins was found in a digital wallet stored on the website’s servers. Since the seizure, no claims have been filed for the wallet, and on January 16, 2014, United States District Judge J. Paul Oetken held that the wallet was deemed forfeited to the U.S. Government.
A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office stated that it has not yet been determined how the Bitcoins will be liquidated. Since the seizure of the Bitcoins, the value of the virtual currency has grown with the market’s increasing demand. At the present exchange rate, the Bitcoins are valued at approximately $28 million, approximately 4x their value at the time of the seizure.